Archive for 2018

Distillery recreates extinct Native Oyster reefs in the Dornoch Firth, an environmental first – Scotch Whisky News

Glenmorangie DEEP oysters being laid 2018

Distillery recreates extinct Native Oyster reefs in the Dornoch Firth, an environmental first

Glenmorangie returns 20,000 oysters to the sea near its home

Photo caption: Scientists lay Native European Oysters on the recreated reef in the Dornoch Firth as part of Glenmorangie’s DEEP project.

12th October 2018. A total of 20,000 oysters are to be introduced into the sea near Glenmorangie’s Highland home, as part of the Single Malt whisky’s ground-breaking project to restore oyster reefs fished to extinction a century ago. In pursuit of its vision to enhance the marine biodiversity of the Dornoch Firth, Glenmorangie and its partners last year placed 300 oysters in its protected waters, to confirm the species could survive. Now, for the second phase of the project, they are to recreate entire reefs – the very first time this has been attempted anywhere in Europe.

Glenmorangie is dedicated to protecting and improving the beautiful surroundings which have been its home for 175 years. With this commitment in mind, it forged the Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP), with Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society in 2014, to bring oysters back to the Firth. Established reefs in the Firth will increase biodiversity and act in tandem with Glenmorangie’s anaerobic digestion plant, to purify the surrounding seas of their distillation.

Researchers introduced the first 300 native European oysters in 2017. These oysters thrived, paving the way for a feat never before attempted in Europe – recreating natural reefs. From this month, 20,000 oysters will be carefully placed on the first of these reefs, specially created from waste shell, to mimic their natural habitat. The native oysters, all grown in the UK, painstakingly cleaned and checked for disease and unwanted hitchhikers, will be regularly monitored. Based on a successful outcome of this 20,000 oyster trial numbers will be increased to 200,000 over three years. Over five years, the population will be built up to four million, spread over 40 hectares restoring the self-sustaining oyster reefs that existed in the Firth, until they were fished out in the 1800s.

An Independent Research Advisory Panel (IRAP) of leading European Marine scientists has also been created. Led by Professor John Baxter the panel will have oversight of the DEEP project.

Hamish Torrie, Glenmorangie’s CSR Director, said: ‘We are very excited to move DEEP to its next stage and have been hugely encouraged by the enthusiastic support that our meticulous, research-led approach has received from a wide range of Scottish Government agencies and native oyster growers – it is a truly collaborative effort. We are all very proud that in our 175th year the Distillery has such a pioneering environmental project right on its doorstep.’

Dr Bill Sanderson, Associate Professor of Marine Biodiversity at Heriot-Watt, said: “This is the first time anyone has tried to recreate a natural European oyster habitat in a protected area. Working closely with Glenmorangie, we hope to create an outstanding environment for marine life in the Firth – and act as a driving force behind other oyster regeneration work across Europe.”

Thomas Moradpour, President and CEO of The Glenmorangie Company, said: “DEEP is a vital part of our vision for a fully sustainable business. Supported by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and our partners, we’ll do all we can to champion this innovative project, soon to be showcased at our Open Weekend

at The Glenmorangie Distillery.’

For each bottle sold of limited-edition Glenmorangie Dornoch, a donation is made to the Marine Conservation Society to support DEEP. RRP: £69.

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About Glenmorangie:

Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky originates in the Scottish Highlands where, at
the Glenmorangie Distillery, it is distilled in the tallest malt whisky stills in Scotland for a purer spirit, expertly matured in the finest oak casks for great depth, and perfected by the Men of Tain, who have passed their skills down the generations, often from father to son.  These select craftsmen go to unseen lengths to ensure that Glenmorangie is made in the same unhurried, uncompromising way as it always has been.  The Distillery was founded in 1843 and is renowned as a pioneer in its field, uniting tradition with innovation.

About DEEP:

This innovative project is the first attempt to restore the endangered Native European oyster to a protected area where it has become extinct.  Begun in 2014, DEEP is delivered through a ground-breaking partnership between Glenmorangie, which has provided seed funding, Heriot-Watt University through research and field work led by Dr Bill Sanderson, and the Marine Conservation Society, which delivers community engagement, communications support and advocacy.  The project’s first phase, led by Dr Sanderson, trawled archaeological records, ancient literature and fisheries records, then sampled shell material, to show that oysters had existed in the Dornoch Firth up to 10,000 years ago – and that reintroducing them was feasible. In 2017, 300 oysters from the UK’s only sizeable wild oyster population in Loch Ryan, were carefully placed on two sites in the Dornoch Firth in ballasted bags, to confirm that they would thrive in the water. Researchers were delighted to see a survival rate in line with their highest expectations – up to 86% on one site.

For the next phase of the project, a total of 20 tonnes of waste shell from the scallop and mussel industry will be placed in two locations on the seabed this month (October 2018), to form reefs for the oysters. This will help to stabilise the sediment and allow the oysters to grow on top, mimicking the conditions in which the species would have grown before they became extinct in the Firth. As this is the first attempt to establish a natural habitat for the native European oyster, scientists will vary shell type, shell density, the way it is laid and the location, to inform their research. Between October and the following spring, they then will place a total of 20,000 oysters, grown by suppliers across the UK, on these reefs. The scientists, who will monitor the oysters every six months, then plan to increase the numbers to 200,000 within three years and to some four million, over around 40 hectares, in five years.  At this stage, they believe the reefs will cover an area and density large enough to ensure a self-sustaining oyster population – replicating the numbers which would have existed before the species was wiped out in the 19th century.

IRAP visited Glenmorangie earlier in October to validate DEEP’s work. Their support will be invaluable to the project as it moves forward. The panel includes:

Professor John Baxter – chair of the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum (former Principal Marine Adviser  SNH), Scottish Government, Adviser to the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme and member of the World Commission on Protected Areas.

Francois Simard – Deputy Director of the Global Marine and Polar Programme

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

Professor Dan Laffoley – Principal Adviser on Marine Science and Conservation at IUCN,

Marine Vice Chair for the World Commission on Protected Areas.

Dr Matt Frost – Deputy Director Marine Biological Association Director of Policy and Knowledge Exchange, President of the European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations (MARS) and Chair of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership.

Dr Henning von Nordheim – Professor for Marine Nature Conservation, at the University of Rostock.

About DEEP’s benefits:

The success of DEEP would offer many benefits to the marine environment. Oysters filter water as they feed, soaking up nitrogen and improving the water quality (one oyster can filter up to 200 litres of water a day).  Established reefs, together with Glenmorangie’s anaerobic digestion plant, would account for 100 per cent of the organic material in the water that the Distillery releases into the Firth. Native Oysters also create microhabitats for other marine life, which increases an area’s biodiversity. Oyster reefs are amongst the most endangered marine habitats on Earth – and scientists hope that the research conducted as part of DEEP might one day enable conservationists around the world to reintroduce the species to other areas where it has become extinct. Furthermore, DEEP is helping to sustain oyster-growing businesses across the UK, creating demand for the native European oyster.

About Biosecurity:

The researchers are taking every precaution to ensure that the oysters destined for the Firth are free from disease – and are not accompanied by any invasive alien species. Grown by oyster farmers across the UK, they will be tested for disease, and held behind a biosecurity firewall at Heriot-Watt University. There, every single oyster will be thoroughly checked and cleaned – its shell scrubbed and sterilised, with water passed through the inside.

About the Dornoch Firth:

The Dornoch Firth, on the banks of which Glenmorangie Distillery is located, is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, an internationally important Special Area of Conservation, and a Special Protection Area. Conditions are today regarded as favourable for marine life in the Firth. DEEP aims to improve water quality and biodiversity even further. The native European oyster is thought to have thrived in the Firth for around 8,000 years, until being decimated by overfishing in the 19th century – as was commonplace for oyster populations around the world.  Today the species is all but extinct in the wild.

About Glenmorangie’s anaerobic digestion plant:

Glenmorangie’s treatment plant is part of its long-term commitment to protecting and improving the beautiful surroundings in which its Distillery will always be rooted.  Glenmorangie has always been fully compliant with Scottish Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for the chemical oxygen demand (COD – a measure of organic compounds in water) of the water it releases into the Dornoch Firth. But inspired to increase its sustainability even further, Glenmorangie began to build an anaerobic digestion plant in 2015. This unique plant, opened in 2017, treats the Distillery’s pot ale (the solids which remain after primary distillation), spent lees (residue from the spirit distillation) and washing water (the waste water used when cleaning the mash tun and washbacks). The plant reduces the COD of the water that Glenmorangie releases into the Dornoch Firth by 95 per cent. Within a few years, established oyster reefs will account for the remaining 5 per cent – ensuring that Glenmorangie’s nutrient-rich outflow is entirely accounted for. The plant’s other by-products are a copper-rich sludge and biogas. The biogas is used to create steam which helps power the Distillery, reducing Glenmorangie’s reliance on fossil fuels by 15 per cent. Meanwhile, the sludge, which contains copper from Glenmorangie’s signature stills – the tallest in Scotland – is passed to local barley farmers. It helps to reduce their reliance on fertilisers for land which is naturally copper deficient.

About Heriot-Watt:

Heriot-Watt is a specialist university, globally minded and calibrated to the needs of society.  A leading technological and business university, renowned for innovation in business, engineering, design and the physical, social and life sciences, Heriot-Watt defines its presence on the international stage in areas of world importance and value. Its communities of scholars come from across the world and are leaders in ideas and solutions; delivering innovation and educational excellence, the University is ranked in the top 10 for Research Impact in the UK. With roots in Scotland and a truly international reach, Heriot-Watt is a leader in transnational education and a powerful driver and engine of the economy, transforming people and the world. Within the University’s Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology, Dr Bill Sanderson’s work concentrates on the marine biodiversity research needed to support sensitive management and sustainable development, often concentrating on species and habitats of high nature-conservation importance, such as biogenic reefs.

About MCS:

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS champions a vision of sustainable fisheries, abundant marine life and clean seas and beaches for the enjoyment of all.  As part of DEEP, Glenmorangie has funded a part-time role at the Distillery for an MCS information officer. The post-holder, in place for six months every year, engages visitors with the work of MCS, runs beach cleans, education workshops, and encourages wildlife watching, including the wading birds and seals that sun themselves on the Firth’s sand banks. MCS has a dedicated Scotland conservation programme based at its Edinburgh office that was established in 2000.



Malt Messenger No. 90 by Andrew Ferguson – Whisky Season is Upon Us! – Whisky News


We are currently experiencing a well deserved reprieve from the early Winter (never mind Fall) weather which hit us in Alberta late September. September is often our nicest month, so the heavy early snows came as a bit of a rude reminder that Winter is coming. With Winter comes whisky season. I don’t actually believe there is a season for whisky. I am passionate about whisky all year round. But for some, whisky is a seasonal pursuit, and in that case, whisky season is upon us.

We have some exciting new Kensington Wine Market exclusive casks in store. You might have caught the announcement of a new Cadenhead Small Batch single cask in a Malt Messenger Bulletin a few weeks back. Our 3rd exclusive Cadenhead cask, the 11 Year Linkwood 2006 is a light, fruity and malty single malt. I like to refer to it as a sessionable whisky. That provoked some questions on Facebook, what is a sessionable whisky. I borrowed the term from the beer world where it usually applies to a low alcohol hoppy beer that you can drink all night. Full disclosure, the Linkwood is not low alcohol, but I do believe it is a whisky you could enjoy all night!

It often surprises customers to learn that our best selling single malt brand at KWM is Arran. The Arran 14 and 18 year olds are two of the workhorse single malts on our shelf. The whiskies are both excellent quality but also phenomenal value. The brand has built an especially dedicated following in our shop over the last 15 years, in large part because of the amazing casks we’ve bottled of their whisky over the years. They keep offering us excellent options and we have a hard time limiting ourselves to just one cask. We also can’t believe that they keep letting us bottle some of their oldest casks. We are now on to our 13th and 14th single casks from the distillery, having just received the two most recent Arran KWM exclusive casks. They are the two oldest Arrans ever to come to Canada.

As in past years when we’ve bottled more than one Arran cask, we were looking for whiskies that showed very differently. The whiskies were both distilled in 1996, Arran’s first full year of production, and filled into Sherry Hogshead casks. But that is where the similarities end. The  21 Year, Arran 1996 KWM Cask 559, is more lightly sherried. It is honeyed, floral and fruity, classic Arran. It is a beautiful malt and should in its own right be a show stopper. The snag is that the  22 Year, Arran 1996 KWM Cask 56, the more sherried of the two, is spectacular. It is a classic sherry bomb in the vein of 20+ year old Glenfarclas or Macallan. Both whiskies are excellent, but the older and more sherried of the two has the edge. More details and tasting notes below.

There is so much more to get to in this edition of the Malt Messenger, like the Canadian launch of a brand new single malt brand. When Billy Walker sold the BenRiach Distillery Co. to Brown Forman, news that personally devastated me, he was not yet ready to retire. With a new consortium he acquired the GlenAllachie Distillery from Pernod Ricard, along with over 50,000 casks. Over the last year has set about transforming it from a workhorse producing malt for blends, to a standalone single malt distillery. We are thrilled to be following along as Billy works his magic! There are details below on the GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary bottlings. The very limited first ever release of whiskies from the distillery. We also have details on the new GlenAllachie Core Range.

In addition to our new Arran single casks, there is also a new limited edition bottling from Arran, the  Arran Explorers Series Brodick Bay. The whisky is a 20 Year old ex-Bourbon barrels, ex-Sherry Hogsheads and ex-Oloroso Sherry Butts at a strength of 49.8%. Only 60 bottles are coming to KWM, 1/3 of which have sold.

I have been telling anyone who’ll listen over the last year and a bit, that the  Glengoyne 25 Year is my favourite core distillery bottled 25 year old. Big, sherried, bottled at 48% it is excellent value at roughly 1/2 the price of Balvenie 25 and 1/4 the price of the likes of Macallan 25. Well the  Glengoyne 30 Year just hit our shelves, and while at $920 it is not inexpensive, it is a comparatively very well priced distillery bottled 30 year. We haven’t tried it yet, but we are desperate to. If the Glengoyne 21 and 25 are anything to go by things look very promising.

This Malt Messenger is crammed with so much more. There are a bunch of new Gordon MacPhail whiskies, released after the recent revamping of their brand. We have trios of new whiskies from Macallan, A.D. Rattray, anCnoc and Black Mountain (France). There are also new Bourbons, a new release from Two Brewers, and pairs of new whiskies from Highland Park and Wolfburn. There is also the Johnnie Walker White Walker, the first of a number of Game of Thrones collaboration whiskies produced by Diageo and HBO.

I hope you enjoy this massive, jam packed Malt Messenger, Slàinte!


In This Edition

  1. TWO NEW Arran 1996 KWM Casks
  2. NEW KWM Cask: Cadenhead Linkwood 2006
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Release 21
  4. Introducing The GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary Casks
  5. Introducing The GlenAllachie Distillery Core Rage
  6. Introducing The Arran Brodick Bay
  7. Introducing The Glengoyne 30 Year
  8. New Gordon Macphail Whiskies
  9. Two New Wolfburn Single Malts
  10. Three New New Macallans
  11. Two New Highland Parks
  12. Three New A.D.Rattrays
  13. Three New anCnocs (Knockdhu Distillery)
  14. Introducing: Johnnie Walker White Walker
  15. Introducing: Black Mountain Whisky from France

Andrew Ferguson

Kensington Wine Market

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@scotch_guy, Instagram: @thescotch_guy/

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TWO NEW Arran 1996 KWM Casks! 

The Two Oldest Arrans Ever to Come to Canada!

We have bottled more single casks with Arran than any other distillery. This is partly, because they have  been a supportive and willing partner. But it is mostly because the samples they keep sending us are excellent. We thought we were getting a pair of 21 year olds, but one of them turned 22 before it was bottled. They are the two oldest Arrans ever to come to Canada!

The casks are (gasp) both excellent. The 21 year old is a classic older Arran, lots of citrus, honey, cream and floral tones. It is a beautiful malt. The 22 year old is stunning, big, sherried and layered, so many layers… Lots of people love big sherried whisky, less appreciate more subtle older drams. I desperately wanted the less sherried one to be the standout, as it was with our 20 year olds. Sadly this was not to be. As good and the 21 year old is, and it is truly excellent – the big sherried 22 year old is phenomenal!

  1. Arran 1996 KWM Cask 559 – 55.3% – 21 Year – Sherry Hogshead – Distilled: June 17 1996 – Bottled: April 9 2018 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: honeyed, fruity and floral; some candied citrus and soft Manuka honey; classic Arran so far; a touch of leather and building crisp decadent spices; faint musty oak, Demerara sugars and vanilla icing. Palate: round, fruity, creamy and warming; the spirit has a wonderful mouthfeel; loads of honey, vanilla and caramel make way for crisp and candied citrus fruits; a touch of musty oak and smooth elegant leather before a touch of tobacco; crisp spices: real ginger, cardamom and hot cinnamon. Finish: long, warm and spicy; still decadent and citrusy with loads of spice and coating creamy vanilla core. Comment: this is an elegant Arran, hitting its stride at 21 years of age; where has the time gone?! – $200
  2. Arran 1996 KWM Cask 56 – 51.3% – 22 Year – Sherry Hogshead – Distilled: February 2 1996 – Bottled: April 9 2018 – My Tasting Note: “Nose: molten dark chocolate, new Italian leather shoes, brandy soaked cherries and old Cognac; it reminds me of an Old Fashioned or classic Sazerac cocktail; bags of orange: freshly peeled, candied and dried peels; classic Christmas cake tones and mince meat pie from the oven. Palate: damn…; right off the bat this whisky oozes class and sophistication; this is what an old sherried whisky should be; dark and candied fruits, notes of chocolate, warm maple syrup, Christmas cake, fruity tobacco, refined leather and warming spices; the sherry tones are rich but balanced; lots of fruit, decadent and spice. Finish: long, fruity, sherried and rich; more chocolate, leather, tobacco, Christmas cake, spices, maple syrup and more… all in fine balance. Comment: wow, simply wow; this is a phenomenal single cask; this is a classic but balanced big sherry bomb; my only regret is that we have just a Hogshead here, and not a much larger Butt!” - $200


NEW Cadenhead Linkwood 2006 KWM Cask 

Dangerously Drinkable!

Our first new KWM exclusive cask of 2018 is an 11 Year old Linkwood from an ex-Bourbon Hogshead bottled at a natural cask strength of 58.7%. It takes a lot to get me excited about Linkwood, but this one impressed us all. 288 bottles are available of this dangerously drinkable whisky.

Cadenhead Linkwood 2006 KWM Cask – 58.7% – 11 Year – Ex-Bourbon Hogshead – My Tasting Note: “Nose: lemon and pear drops, tapioca and white chocolate Hershey’s Kisses; shortbread dusted in corse sugar with with a touch of lemon; jammy dodgers and other cream filled cookies; freshly baked donuts, chocolate éclairs and tarte tatin. Palate: sweet, honeyed and fruity; oily and toasty; white fruity and glossy citrus tones; lemon cream cookies, jammy dodgers and more sugar dusted shortbread; decadent and doughy, like and old fashioned donut shop: carrot cake with creme cheese icing, custard creme and apple curler donuts, and also more chocolate éclairs; lots of lemon and white fruits, creamsicles and building decadent spices. Finish: long and elegant beyond its years; creamy with doughy tones and lots of honey; soft spices and minty floral tones and bright fruits. Comment: this is a sesionable and dangerously drinkable whisky; tasted blind, you would never know this Whisky is 11 years old or nearly or 60%.” – $110


Cadenhead Small Batch Release 21 

A Dozen New Very Limited Whiskies!

There are some real gems in this release. A bargain priced, sherried, 44 year old blend. A peated old Cooley (Sold Out), Irish single malt whisky and a 1989 Bunnahabhain to name just a few!

  1. Cadenhead Creations 1973 Blend: Light, Fruity, Sherry - 43.4% – 44 Year – Single Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Fudge, macadamia nuts, prunes, soft wood spices. Palate: Fresh whipped cream. Dark cherries, Rye like spice. Finish: Short crust pastry.  A nice interplay between the sherry and vanilla notes.” – $422
  2. Cadenhead Small Batch Bunnahabhain 1989 – 43.8% – 28 Year – 2 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Pineapple, papaya, mango. Really fruity. Palate: grapefruit, Lime cordial with a feint hint of flint. Finish: Macademia nuts, banana bread.  Lightly smoked wood chips in the background.” – $344
  3. Cadenhead Small Batch Cooley Peated 1992 – 52.3% – 26 Year – Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Initial smoke followed by bruised fruits, popping candy, fresh mint and kiwi. Palate: Kiwi continues, green grapes, black olives. Finish: Feint mustard seed notes, subtle earthiness. Classic Peaty Cooley.” – $320 – Only 6 bottles! – SOLD OUT!
  4. Cadenhead Small Batch Glenrothes 1996 – 50.9% – 21 Year – 3 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Rosemary, lemongrass, fennel. Palate: Creamy yogurt, water chestnuts, honey and walnuts. Finish: Applewood smoked cheese on oatcakes, celery sticks, dried apple sticks.” – $199
  5. Cadenhead Small Batch Glen Spey 2001 – 54% – 16 Year – 3 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Juicy green apples, freshly cut grass, slight hint of cayenne pepper in the background. Palate: Grapefruit, coconut, marzipan. Finish: Butter popcorn, sweet chilli sauce, stewed apples.” – $133
  6. Cadenhead Small Batch Glentauchers 1990 – 54.4% – 27 Year – Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Peaches, watermelon, creamy, lychee. Palate: Cotton candy, unground black pepper, cloves. Finish: Orange pith, fruit slice cake, peach skin.” – $335 – Only 6 bottles! – 90pts Angus SOLD OUT
  7. Cadenhead Small Batch Knockdhu 2006 - 54.7% – 11 Year – 3 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Tea leaves, raspberry ice cream and slight flint notes. Palate: Peppery watercress, dried earthiness, biscotti. Finish: Cardamom seeds, peach stones. Very moreish.” – $114
  8. Cadenhead Small Batch Macduff 2006 – 46% – 11 Year – Hogshead – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Buttery, cereals, gammon steak. Palate: Peardrops, bruschetta, green apple peel. Finish: Feint lemon and lime zest. Freshly made pancakes.” – $110 – Only 6 Bottles!
  9. Cadenhead Small Batch Linkwood 1995 - 48.8% – 22 Year – 2 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Floral, pine needles, walnuts, vanilla pods. Palate: Dried bananas, barley water, freshly cut grass. Finish: Dark fruits come through, bramble jelly and blackcurrants.” – $216
  10. Cadenhead Small Batch North British 1985 – 55.2% – 32 Year – Sherry Butt – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Oily. Green olives, cheesecake base. Chewy. Palate: More subtle than the nose suggests, ground cinnamon. Finish: Dried spices, soft chewy toffee.” - $268 – 92pts
  11. Cadenhead Small Batch Ord 2006 - 46% – 11 Year – 2 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Orange bitters, marchino cherries. Palate: Chocolate orange cake, buttered toast, cinnamon stick. Finish: Zesty finish with Orange blossom and menthol sweets.” – $97
  12. Cadenhead Small Batch Tomatin 2008 – 54.4% – 10 Year – 2 Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Caramelised sugar, salted caramel. Palate: White chocolate, homemade ice cream. Finish: gooseberries, Moscatel grapes, mild chilli powder.” – $115
  13. Cadenhead Small Batch Tomintoul 2006 – 60.7% – 11 Year – 3 Bourbon Barrels – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Peppermint creams, creamy toffee, tiramisu. Palate: Hard boiled toffee sweets, star anise. Finish: Gingerbread, wood shavings, cinnamon buns.” – $116


Introducing: The GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary Releases 

The First Ever Bottlings of the Next It Whisky

Kensington Wine Market was honoured to host the first tastings for The GlenAllachie in Canada with Alasadair Stevenson a couple of weeks back. We are also thrilled to mark another first: The first release of distillery-bottled single casks of GlenAllachie. These whiskies were actually released before the GlenAllachie Core Range, but were not initially going to be sold to Canada. It took a lot of begging and pleading to secure some for our market. Six individual casks were bottled, and KWM is getting just 4-8 bottles of each. Suffice to say they are limited to 1 each per person, on a first come first serve basis. All are 500mls. I have had a chance to sample 3 of the six thus far, and they are excellent.

Distillery Notes on the 50th Anniversary Bottlings: ‘Our Master Distiller, Billy Walker, who last year led our purchase of The GlenAllachie Distillery near Aberlour in Speyside, is releasing a special bottling of limited edition whiskies as his first product launch from the site after examining casks of world-class Scotch in its warehouses. Having sampled an extensive selection of the distillery’s 40,000 casks, Mr Walker has identified six casks that have been bottled to mark the 50th anniversary of the distillery’s maiden production run on February 17th 1968.


‘Mr Walker, who sold BenRiach Distillery Company to American producer Brown-Forman in 2016, said: “Even though GlenAllachie is one of the younger distilleries in Scotland, we are very fortunate in that we have casks of whisky stretching back to the early 1970s, in the first years after the site opened. The past few months since we bought the distillery and its stock have been so exciting for the whole team.  I’ve been able to try samples from some really remarkable casks of Scotch and to study how the spirit has evolved over time. I’ve been involved in distilling whiskies for much of my forty-year career in the industry, but I’ve seldom come across such a high-quality collection of casks.”


‘”What’s particularly exciting about these special-edition single cask bottles is that we’ll be able to demonstrate the really high quality of GlenAllachie as a standalone whisky. GlenAllachie produces a much more muscular spirit than many of the other distilleries on Speyside and so it works well with lots of different casks, whether they’re American oak barrels and hogsheads or European sherry butts. Discovering these hidden gems in the warehouses has given us a great opportunity, not only to give whisky connoisseurs a taste of what’s to come later this year when we launch the full GlenAllachie range, but also to celebrate the half century since this very special distillery first fired up its stills.”‘

The GlenAllachie 50th Anniversary Single Casks:

  1. GlenAllachie 1991 Cask 100285 – 55% – 26 Year – Hogshead – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Wonderful notes of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch and hazelnuts as the lead players with hints of dark chocolate, mocha and spices.” – $410 – Only 4 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!
  2. GlenAllachie 1990 Cask 2517 – 54.6% – 27 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “The amazing flavour rainbow of raisins, bananas, sweet cloves and pineapples extends to orange peel and dark chocolate.” – $450 – Only 8 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!
  3. GlenAllachie 1990 Cask 2515 – 44.9% – 27 Year –  Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Rich sherry and raisin presence, with a supporting cast of dark chocolate, grapefruit and spices.” – $450 – Only 8 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!
  4. GlenAllachie 1989 Cask 2587 – 45.4% – 28 Year – Hogshead – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “The melange of dark cherries, bananas and orange peel develops into dark chocolate and rich spices.” – $480 – Only 4 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!
  5. GlenAllachie 1989 Cask 986 – 57.7% – 28 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “A galaxy of sultanas, pineapple and plum pudding, with hints of spices and orange peel.” – $480 – Only 8 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!
  6. GlenAllachie 1978 Cask 10296 – 55.9% – 39 Year – Sherry Butt – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “A rush of raisins, dark chocolate and spices, followed by hints of orange peel and liquorice.” – $1450 – Only 8 bottles coming to KWM(Canada)!


Introducing: TheGlenAllachie Core Range 

The First Four Whisky in Distillery’s New Core Range

I paid my first visit to the GlenAllachie Distillery in May this year. Billy Walker and a small consortium had just purchased it from Pernod Ricard a few months earlier, and were in the process of getting a core whisky range out on the market. This was the first time I had ever actually met Billy, even though I had been working with his previous brands for over a decade. He was much more warm and humble than I had expected, a true gentleman. I asked him why he had sold the BenRiach Distillery Co., which owned the Glendronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries as well as the namesake BenRiach. It turns out he hadn’t wanted too, but his partners needed out, and the Brown Forman offer was too good to turn down. But he wasn’t done, he had another card to play. He approached Pernod Ricard with a proposal to relaunch Scapa Distillery in the Orkneys, they politely turned him down, but offered him the opportunity to purchase GlenAllachie. Billy jumped at the opportunity to acquire this almost unknown Speyside distillery, and purchased it with partners Trisha Savage and Graham Stevenson.


Construction to build GlenAllachie started in 1967, with the distillery opened for business in 1968. It was the 4th distillery designed by renowned Scottish architect William-Delme Evans. It was built for MacKinley McPherson, distilling arm of Scottish and Newcastle, and the producers of the orginal Shackleton Whisky. The distillery was designed to be almost completely gravity fed, requiring less energy. The distillery began producing in February of 1968, at the start of a major boom in whisky production. Within 6 months production was expanded from one pair of stills to two.

In 1985 MacKinley McPherson became part of Invergordon Distillers, and in the midst of the second worst bust in history of the industry, GlenAllachie was closed. Campbell Distillers, who would in time become part of Pernod Ricard, purchased the distillery in 1989, and production resumed that April. The distillery has been in production ever since. Only a handful of distillery bottlings were ever released until now. This summer the new owners of The GlenAllachie released a core range of four whiskies, the first regularly available whiskies in the distillery’s history. They are set to arrive in Alberta shortly, but they may not last long, as quantities are very small on the first order.


  1. The GlenAllachie 10 Year Cask Strength Batch 1 – 57.1% – American, PX, Oloros and Virgin Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Big notes of heather honey and toffee, with rose hip and spices tip-toeing in. Palate: Honey, vanilla, toffee with a layer of rose hip, marmalade and Caribbean spices.” – $105
  2. The GlenAllachie 12 Year – 46% – PX, Oloroso and Virgin Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Butterscotch and honey playing the lead, with raisins and mocha in the background. Palate: Honey, marzipan and bananas, with lashings of butterscotch, raisins and a delicate hint of mocha.” – $85
  3.  The GlenAllachie 18 Year – 46% – PX, Oloroso and American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Fresh vanilla, toffee, butterscotch and spices. Palate: Raisins, marzipan, heather and honey, with rich notes of dark cherries, spices and subtle hints of dark chocolate.” – $185
  4. The GlenAllachie 25 Year – 48% – Bourbon, Oloroso and PX Casks – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Sweet spices, marmalade and sultanas balanced in total harmony. Palate: Lashings of sultanas, pineapples and dark chocolate, followed by layers of Christmas cake, marmalade and sweet spices.” – $475


Introducing: The Arran Explorers Series Brodick Bay 

The First Whisky in This New Series is a Tempting Looking 20 Year

The Brodick Bay is the first in the Isle of Arran distillery’s new Explorers Series Collection. Each edition will highlight a different view from the Isle of Arran itself. Only 9000 bottles of this Limited Edition were made. The Brodick Bay was bottled at 20 years old from a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels, ex-Sherry Hogsheads and ex-Oloroso Sherry Butts at a strength of 49.8% ABV. Only 60 bottles are coming to KWM, 1/3 of which are already sold!

 Arran Explorer Series Brodick Bay 20 Year – 49.8% – Ex-Bourbon Barrels & Ex-Sherry Hogsheads and Butts – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Immediate notes of creamy toffee emerge, with the fresh fruity citrus notes of Arran also very evident. Palate: Starts with an intense sweetness which coats the tongue as the creamy toffee develops into a treacle laced fudge. Dark chocolate raisins and honey give this dram delicious depth which stays long on the palate. Finish: A real gourmet dram with retains the sweetness of the delicate Arran character with layers of rich intense fruit.” – $215


Introducing: Glengoyne 30 Year 

If the 21 and 25 Are Anything To Go By… 

We love the 25 year and can’t wait to try the new 30 year old. Only 13 hand selected sherry casks will be married a year for bottling as 30 year.

Distiller’s Description: “Our finest sherry casks are left almost entirely to their own devices for 30 years. Almost, but not quite. Twice, perhaps three times in three decades, our malt master will taste this ongoing alchemy of cask and spirit. His aim: to hand-select only the best sherry oak casks. Has each decade added deep colour, intense flavour and limitless complexity to the precious contents? A small wooden bung is all that stands in our malt master’s way; in the cool of the warehouse, he eases it from the cask. He holds a dram to the light, swirls it beneath his nose, takes a sip – then records his judgement. Only the very best can become Glengoyne 30 Year Old – typically just 13 casks a year will bear the name.”

Glengoyne 30 Year – 46.8% – Matured in Sherry Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Black Cherry, Sherry Trifle, Marmalade, Tea Rose, Rum & Raisin Chocolate. Taste: Burst of sweetness changing quickly to Plum compote, Cinnamon, Cloves and Tangy Marmalade. Finish: Soft Oak dryness and Cinnamon.” – $920


NEW Gordon Macphail Whiskies 

Whiskies from Scotland’s Most Respected Independent Bottler 

Gordon MacPhail is in the midst of the midst of rebranding. Here are some of the latest G&M whiskies under the revamped Connoisseur’s Choice and the new Discovery lines, to land in Alberta.

  1. G&M Discovery Caol Ila 13 Year – 43% – Ex-Bourbon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Sweet and savoury: dry-cured meats glazed with luscious apricot jam combines with rich vanilla notes. Flashes of softly swirling peat smoke complement the delicious sweetness. Taste Bursting with juicy tropical fruit – pineapple, kiwi, and banana – brushed softly with icing sugar. Light touches of malt and vibrant lemon peel balance the sweetness. Finish Long and luxurious with hints of sweet marshmallow toasting over gently smouldering bonfire embers.” – $100
  2. G&M Discovery Miltonduff 10 Year - 43% – Ex-Sherry – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Chocolate and sticky orange marmalade transforms into juicy plump stewed raisins and sweet baked apple, freshly cut grass notes delicately balance the rich sherry influences. Taste Sweet and spicy: comforting butter candies weave with roasted hazelnut followed closely by orange zest, cinnamon, and mouth-warming pepper maturing into plum and fig jam. Finish Long with highlights of chocolate and stewed fruit finishing with lingering winter spices.” – $100
  3. G&M Discovery Tormore 10 Year - 43% – Ex- Bourbon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Fruity and lively: abundant tropical fruit notes of pineapple, grapefruit, coconut, and freshly squeezed lime weave with hints of freshly cut grass and toasted malt. Taste Creamy, the sweetness of the vanilla, velvety milk chocolate, and baked apple are perfectly balanced by zesty citrus peel. Undertones of plump apricot and juicy mango develop. Finish Delightfully delicate with gentle lingering herbal tones finish with nuances of charred oak.” – $100
  4. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Aberfeldy 1993 – 58.7% – First Fill Sherry Puncheon – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Bold yet subtle: Sherry and sweet vanilla combine with dark chocolate. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves develop and open into subtle and delicate floral notes. Taste Full-bodied and creamy with hints of freshly cracked black pepper. Dark chocolate, and walnut notes are balanced by sweet brown sugar and juicy fruit undertones. Finish Sweet, long, and lingering with candied cherry and charred oak highlights.” – $350
  5. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Caol Ila 2004 Wood Finish – 45% – First Fill Ex-Bourbon and Refill American Oak – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Complex and fruity: light peat smoke and dry cured meats mix with vanilla pod revealing cranberries, redcurrants and delicate orange blossom. A dried apricot and plum edge develops. Taste Creamy, hints of liquorice and warming pepper transform into spicy oak notes. Chocolate, ripe raspberry, and blackcurrant transform with gentle beeswax undertones. Finish Long, forest fruits mature into lingering peat smoke infused with charred oak and bonfire embers.” – $150
  6. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Glen Spey 1995 -46% – Refill American Oak Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Layered and graceful: ripe banana, pear, and pineapple infused with vanilla and topped by a crème brûlée, jasmine emerges, highlighted by silky chocolate. Taste Mouth-warming chilli followed by mature oak, summer strawberries and raspberries glazed with white chocolate and balanced by a subtle herbal edge. Finish Gentle and soft, pear and ripe banana develop into oak.” – $245
  7. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Old Pulteney 1998  – 46% – First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrels – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Intricate and balanced: honey-smoked cured meats with a light salty brine edge transforms into a fresh fruit salad of crisp green apple, juicy peach, nectarine, and cantaloupe. Taste Smooth and creamy, sticky apricot jam infused with vanilla pod opens into a refreshing citrus zest. Freshly-picked green apple develops a subtle walnut edge. Finish Delicate with lingering oak, underlying grapefruit, sea salt, and lemon zest remain.” - $240
  8. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Speyburn 1989 – 46% – Refill American Oak Hogsheads – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Fresh and delicate: vanilla weaves into mango, kiwi, and pear, delightful elderflower. Zesty lemon transforms into green moss, and garden herbs. Taste Mouth-warming chilli followed by mature oak opens into plump, mature strawberries and raspberries coated with white chocolate. A subtle herbal undertone adds depth. Finish Gentle and soft, pronounced pear and ripe banana fade into oak.” – $425
  9. G&M Connoisseurs Choice Strathmill 2004 – 46% – Refill Bourbon Barrel – Producer’s Tasting Note: “Aroma Fresh and vibrant: banana, pineapple, coconut, pear, and green apple combine and transform into delicate floral layers. With time, a creamy butterscotch undertone develops. Taste A gentle mouth-warming pepper heat gently succumbs to deliciously juicy tropical fruits: watermelon, pineapple, and banana with highlights of lively orange zest twists. Finish Drying cocoa powder and lingering toasted oak balance the fruity sweetness.” – $150



Two New Wolfburn Single Malts! 

The Northernmost Drams of Mainland Scotchland!

KWM is excited to be exclusively launching a couple of new Wolfburn single malt expressions in Calgary. These are the first new additions to the Wolfburn range to come to Canada since the first release trickled in a couple of years ago. The Langskip takes its name from the Norse word for longship – the Viking raiding ships that once dominated the Caithness coastline. It is bottled at 58%. The other new release, Morvern, is a lightly peated Wolfburn. The whisky is named after the highest peak in Caithness, a mountain surrounded by open moors and wetlands, from where peat has been harvested for hundreds of years. Only 24-30 bottles are initially expected.

  1. Wolfburn Langskip – 58% – First Fill ex-Bourbon – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Aromas of fruit blossom meld with dried apples and light oak. In the background you’ll find traces of raisins and dates mixed with rich fruit cake. Palate: Flavours burst onto the palate, rich and sweet, including maple syrup, dark chocolate, almonds and raisins. The finish lingers nicely – hints of vanilla gently fade away with a warming trace of caramel at the end.”  – $105
  2. Wolfburn Morvern – 46% – American Oak – Lightly Peated – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Initially smoky with hints of fruit and fresh sea air, accompanied by vanilla and oak woodshavings. Palate: Floral notes abound, followed by raisins and light spices. Malty flavours open up on the palate, with soft honey sweetness at the finish.” – $89    


Three New Macallans! 

The 2018 Classic Cut & Two More Triple Cask Matured Whiskies

The retreat from the 1824 line, (Gold, Amber, Sienna and Ruby) continues with the release of the Macallan Triple Cask range and Macallan Classic Cut. The Triple Cask whiskies are analogous to the old Fine Oak range, while the Classic Cut harkens back to the old Macallan Cask Strength.

  1. Macallan Classic Cut 2018- 51.2% – Matured in Sherry Seasoned Oak - Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Memorable aromas of creamy vanilla custard, sweet ginger and fresh sweet oak. Palate: The palate complements the aromas with suggestions of caramel, hints of orange zest and a warming nutmeg spice. Finish: The finish is satisfyingly long, with a warming oak and a sweet mouth coating.” – $145 -Limit 2 per customer!
  2. Macallan Triple Cask 15 Year – 43% – Matured in European and American Ex-Sherry Oak as well as Ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Sublime and full, with delicate hints of rose and cinnamon. Palate: Intensely rich chocolate with high notes of orange and raisin. Finish: Lingering oranges and dried fruit.” – $175
  3. Macallan Triple Cask 18 Year – 43% – Matured in European and American Ex-Sherry Oak as well as Ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Exotic dried petals with coconut and vanilla orange citrus. Palate: Soft and velvety with orange citrus, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. Finish: Lingering with chocolate orange and a hint of wood smoke.” - $335 


Two New Highland Parks 

The Light 17 Year & Valknut

The yin to the yang of the Highland Park The Dark 17 Year, The Light has been bottled at 52.6% after maturing in Refill American oak. The whisky is “inspired by summer in the Orkneys”. Valknut is the second release in Highland Park’s Viking Legend series. Produced from a higher proportion of spirit peated with Orkney malt and predominantly matured in Sherry seasoned casks, Valknut is said to be a sweeter and smokier take on Highland Park.

  1. Highland Park 17 Year The Light – 52.6% – Refill American Oak – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Caramelised pear | Nutmeg | Vanilla | Peat | Cedar wood | Oak | Light smoke” - $450
  2. Highland Park Valknut - 46.8% – American & European Oak Ex-Sherry – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “”Toasted vanilla pods | Cracked black pepper | Oak shavings | Cloves | Aniseed | Aromatic peat smoke” - $105

Distiller’s Description of Highland Park The Light 17 Year: “Light and dark are concepts that exist in opposition, yet together create a perfect balance. One cannot exist without the other; as one appears, the other disappears; together they create something greater than themselves – in nature, a perfect, continuous cycle. In THE LIGHT- a special release of only 28,000 bottles – we celebrate spring and summer in Orkney; a time to emerge from our winter’s hibernation, renewed and refreshed with a spring in our step, ready to embrace the warm bright days of summer. Presented in a beautifully embossed green glass bottle, the serpent dragon design takes its inspiration from the great Norse sagas and embraces both the high sun of the summer solstice and the low sun of the winter solstice – the polar opposites of our island seasons – while the runic writing reflects the ancient carvings of our Viking ancestors which can still be seen today, here in Orkney.”

Distiller’s Description Highland Park Valknut:  “Created using a higher proportion of our local peated malt and predominantly matured in sherry seasoned oak casks to give this whisky its smoky, sweet flavour, “VALKNUT is the second in our Viking Legend series, celebrating our rich Nordic ancestry here on Orkney. Valknut means ‘knot of those slain in battle’ and its symbol of three interlinked triangles appears on numerous artefacts from the Viking Age. The symbol is closely associated with the Norse god, Odin, who guided the spirits of the dead to the underworld and back to the world of the living, and is believed to represent the transition from life to death or the connection between earthly life and heavenly life.”


Three New A.D. Rattrays Whiskies 

Glenrothes, “Cask Orkney” and an old Grain

We have a trio of new whiskies from A.D. Rattray from Ayrshire, Scotland. Like everyone at the moment, they have an 18 year old “Orkney” cough: “Highland Park!”…

  1. A.D. Rattray Cask Orkney 18 Year - 46% – Ex-Bourbon – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Subtle and soft, with green apple and nutmeg, wood spice, sea salt and a hazy smoke. Palate: Toffee, peach and apricot, with a rich velvety texture, sweet background smoke and a dry nutty finish. Finish: A fine spirit, complex and balanced.” – $142
  2. A.D. Rattray Glenrothes 1996 – 51.9% – 21 Year – Bourbon Hogshead – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Elderflower, light vanilla and lemon. Palate: White peach, apricot and Golden Delicious. Finish: Subtle yet lasting stone fruits.” – $200
  3. A.D. Rattray North British 1991 – 58.5% – Sherry Butt – Producer Tasting Note: “Nose: Similar aromas you’d find in an old fashioned sweet shop – bon-bons, red liquorice and chocolate fudge. Palate: Strong coffee, raspberries and a touch of hot cinnamon. Finish: Honey, nutmeg and a lingering sweetness of fresh strawberries.” – $190


Three New anCnocs 

A Pair of Vintages and the 35 Year 2nd Edition!

We have two new limited vintages of anCnoc whisky, as well as a discontinued older age statement expression. We are getting just 18 bottles each of the 2 vintages, and just 3 bottles of the age statement anCnoc. The 2001 vintage is already discontinued. The 2002 is more recent. It is a safe bet both vintage whiskies are roughly 14-15 years of age.

  1. anCnoc 2001 – 46% – Distiller’s Description: “anCnoc Vintage 2001 has matured in Spanish and American oak casks and has been bottled in its most natural form neither chill-filtered nor coloured and as a result this dram may develop a light haze with the addition of water or if kept at a cold temperature. This haze is a natural characteristic of whisky that is non chill-filtered.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Brimming with freshly squeezed lemons and ripe blood oranges. Creamy vanilla, ground spices and a touch of new leather follow. Taste: A hint of set lime honey, vanilla and a distinct chocolate presence. The finish drifts off slowly with a zesty freshness.” – $110
  2.  anCnoc 2002 - 46% – Distiller’s Description: “anCnoc Vintage 2002 has matured in Spanish and American oak casks and has been bottled in its most natural form neither chill-filtered nor coloured and as a result this dram may develop a light haze with the addition of water or if kept at a cold temperature. This haze is a natural characteristic of whisky that is non chill-filtered.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Packed with notes of spicy Christmas cake, liquorice and toffee. Creamy vanilla and ground spices then follow, all wrapped up in the classic honey and citrus flavours so typical of anCnoc. Taste: Chocolate adds another level of sweetness contrasted by orange zest and a hint of leather. The finish is long and warming with a spicy kick.” – $120
  3. anCnoc 35 Year – 41% – Distiller’s Description: “Filled with our charismatic spirit back when flared jeans were all the rage, hand-picked American oak casks aged quietly in our warehouses to eventually bring us a whisky like no other. Rich and opulent but with exactly the vibrancy and balance you’d expect from anCnoc, the single malt of Modern Tradition. The family resemblance to our younger expressions is intact, distillery character shining brighter than ever.” – Distiller’s Tasting Note: “Nose: Top notes of lemon curd, green apples and cut flowers are followed by a heavier honey sweetness, creamy toffee, leather, spices and a pleasant touch of warming wood smoke, making for a fragrant and rich nose. Taste: Oily and full-bodied. Honey and fresh vanilla sit firmly on the palate, with spiciness and, once again, slight smokiness woven in. The finish is long and rewarding, with hints of ground spices and caramel sweetness.” – $1100


Introductory: Johnnie Walker White Walker 

HBO Game of Thrones Collaboration

We are expecting a handful of cases of the new Johnnie Walker White Walker blend, bottled in collaboration with HBO’s Game of Thrones. The White Walker packaging supposedly reveals a hidden message when frozen. The whisky has been blended to be served chilled. Here are the details:

Johnnie Walker White Walker – 41.7% – Producer Description: “Created by whisky specialist George Harper, alongside the small team of expert blenders at Johnnie Walker, this innovative whisky is best served directly from the freezer, echoing the chilling presence of the White Walkers. The Scotch has notes of caramelised sugar and vanilla, fresh red berries with a touch of orchard fruit and features Single Malts from Cardhu and Clynelish – one of Scotland’s most Northern distilleries. Blender George Harper used the Frozen North as his starting point for creating White Walker by Johnnie Walker. He said: “Whiskies from Clynelish have endured long, Scottish Winters, not dissimilar to the long periods endured by the Night’s Watch who have ventured north of the wall – so it was the perfect place to start when creating this unique whisky.” – $55


Introducing: Black Mountain 

Blended Whisky from France

“Black Mountain Compagnie is the project of four friends from Toulouse, who are all passionate entrepreneurs. Their different experiences, characterising each of their careers, complement one another and contribute to the success of the project, based on the daring ambition to produce the finest French whiskies in the south west of the country. How could it be? By building a distillery, nestled against the foothills of the Montagne Noire and located on a 3,000 feet high plateau. A place where people say that a wild animal, half-wolf, half-boar, is roaming around…”

  1.  Black Mountain No. 1 - 42% – Created from Blended Scotch whiskies matured in France with a high proportion of single malt. – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is intense and complex with floral, honey, vanilla oak and grain notes as well as slightly spicy fragrances. On the palate, it is harmony caressing the tongue with flavours of citrus fruit and then grain; there is a rich bouquet of aromas spiced with hints of pepper and nutmeg. The finish is refined and long lasting, with a gentle smoky note.It is to be tasted neat, like the finest spirits.” – $89 World Whisky Awards Best European Blend
  2. Black Mountian No. 2 – 40% – Blended Scotch Whisky finished in France. – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose offers an amazing intensity with floral fragrances, hints of oak and vanilla. On the palate, floral aromas are developed into fruity notes and a hint of honey, as well as spicy flavours of cinnamon and gingerbread. The finish is long lasting, delicately smoky, with a touch of liquorice. It is enjoyed neat and becomes even more remarkable on the rocks.” – $69
  3. Black Mountain Fume – 45% – Blended Scotch Whisky further matured in France, and then blended with 20% peated malt whisky. – Producer Tasting Note: “The nose is mineral with initial hints of herbs, barley and smoky aromas. Then come floral fragrances and notes of dried fruit and oak. The palate is first floral and fruity with smoky flavours developing into aromas of toast and malt. Then notes of vanilla, citrus fruit, leather and subtle touches of herbs can be tasted. The finish is rich, savoury, with a hint of mocha cake.” - $89

Thank You for Reading the Malt Messenger! 

Contact & Disclaimers 

If you have any whisky questions or comments concerning The Malt Messenger please contact me by e-mail, phone, or drop by the store.

All of the products mentioned in THE MALT MESSENGER can be purchased in store, over the phone or from our website at All prices quoted in the Malt Messenger are subject to change and don’t include GST. In the case of discrepancies in pricing, the price in our in store point of sale will be taken as correct.

Thanks for reading the Malt Messenger.


Andrew Ferguson

Owner & Scotchguy

Kensington Wine Market


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Kensington Wine Market


The Whisky Lounge – Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – Scotch Whisky News


The Whisky Lounge – Blind Islay Whisky Tasting

 Once again the seasons turn, summer sun fades into the riot of autumn colours! Temperatures drop and darkness closes over the lands as Samhain approaches and Cailleach Bheur (The Queen of Winter) rises to ascendancy! We wrap up and huddle together to keep winters chill icy fingers from our bones.

Fire provides warmth and light and we are drawn to it naturally! Gone are the cold refreshing drinks of the summer and we crave for something to warm us through and through. What better than Uisage Beatha? In particular, those wonderfully aromatic and intense whiskies hailing from the Isle of Islay. Steeped in mystery and peat and reminiscent of the fires that birthed them, they are the perfect companion on a chilly evening.

Join us as we celebrate with some of the Isle’s finest drams, liberated from The Whisky Lounge’s vaults for your libationous pleasure!


Whether it be the sublime dry, sea air aromas and fresh oily peatiness of Caol Ila or the wonderful dark smokey and intense rich earthiness of Ardbeg. With eight working distilleries and yet only around 3000 inhabitants, Islay’s lifeblood positively courses with whisky.

Back for its ninth jaunt, we will be sampling six of the island’s finest in our Blind Islay tasting this November. In keeping with the Stygian and mysterious nature of the nectar you will be sampling, the tasting will take place in “the blind”. Not until you have tasted and reviewed, in leisurely and amiable company, with the succour of one of The Whisky Lounge’s informed missionaries, will we reveal which whiskies have been partaken of.

In past years this has been one of our most highly anticipated tastings of the years series. Come, genuflect at the altar of Islay and raise a dram or six of the Isle’s finest whisky!


November 17

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – Newcastle


Friar St

Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4XN

November 21

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – Sheffield

The Sheffield Tap

Platform 1B, Sheffield Station

Sheffield, S1 2BP

November 28

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – Liverpool

Fly in The Loaf

13 Hardman Street

Liverpool, L1 9AS

November 29

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – London

The Marlborough Arms

36 Torrington Place

London, WC1E 7LY

November 30

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – Manchester

The Britons Protection

50 Great Bridgewater St.

Manchester, M1 5LE

November 30

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Blind Islay Whisky Tasting – York


114 Micklegate

York, YO1 6JX


Milroys Women’s Whisky Night – Scotch Whisky News


Women’s Whisky Night

Tuesday 6th November – 6.30

This November, the kindly people from Edrington Beam Suntory will be gracing the bar at Milroys for the monthly Women’s Whisky Night. The brands on show will be from Auchentoshan, Bowmore, Macallan, Highland Park, Laphroaig and several other treats and delights. Do not miss this opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in the industry from these brands.


Run by women. For women.

Book Now

Other Tasting Tickets

Milroy’s of Soho
3 Greek Street
London, England W1D 4NX
United Kingdom


It’s the revival of Revival! ~ At Loch Fyne Whiskies – Scotch Whisky News


GlenDronach Revival 15 Year Old

It’s the revival of Revival! After three years in the wilderness, this 15 year old from GlenDronach is back. Matured in a combination of ex-Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez Spanish oak casks from Andalucia, this Speyside single malt is bottled at 46% abv.

£62 Pre-Order Now
Limited stock available!
Orders will be dispatched week beginning 22nd October

LFW Long Logo




Lukasz Dynowiak, Global Brand Ambassador at International Beverage, will be coming along to present our next whisky tasting on Thursday 22nd November and the whiskies featured will be from two of the five distilleries that form the Inver House Distillers portfolio.

One of these is the Old Pulteney distillery, located in Wick, Caithness, whose extreme northerly coastal location and adherence to traditional distilling (with some quirky twists) contribute to this maritime malt’s distinctive profile.  The whiskies we will be sampling are the new core collection, which includes their flagship 12 year old, the mellow and smoky Huddart, the rich and smooth 15 year old and the rather indulgent 18 year old – with the latter two being matured in both bourbon and sherry casks.

Also making an appearance will be two expressions from the Knockdhu distillery.  The whisky itself was renamed as anCnoc in the 1990s (to avoid confusion with Knockando), and, as with Old Pulteney, traditional production methods are at the heart of this Highland single malt.  Fruity and spicy with accompanying honey overtones, this is a delicious whisky that we are going to sample in both its unpeated and peated forms.

Tickets are £15 per person and will be available to buy online from 12.00 noon on Friday 19th October.  Please note, no bookings will be taken before this time and because of the high demand for these tickets the maximum number per booking is 4.

N.B. These events get booked out very quickly so make sure you go online to book yours as soon as they are released.  If you do miss out then please contact us to register your interest and we will add you to the reserves list for any returned tickets.

See below for all the details and if you have any queries just contact us.

Fran and Ken
Arkwrights Whisky and Wines


Paul John Whisky with Shilton, the man with the drams at St Andrews – Indian Whisky News

PAUL 2 main man shilton with his drams

Shilton, the man with the drams at St Andrews

The time; 7 p.m (ish). The venue; St Andrews. The date; Thursday 27 September 2018. Who and what?; Paul John Whisky with Shilton Almeida

I was away to St Andrews, roughly 35 minutes from home in Perth, to a tasting night. I have known Paul John Distilleries for quite some time, Michael is the master, Shilton the presenter!!! Not only was this a great night, previously, Michael had sent me whiskies for us to use in our whisky tours and tastings. Later next month (October) we head up to Dornoch for their whisky fest, taking three excellent PJ drams with us.

So the evening was a great taster of things to come – see what I did there?  The hosts – St Andrews Whisky Society affectionately known as the Quaich Society, (or Quaich Soc) – was founded in 1994 and has been introducing drams since. I was invited by Aedan A. Burt, Quaich Soc. President . Loosely attached to the University of St Andrews. ALL proceeds from the event went to aid the work of the charity Water Aid.    WaterAid has teams in 34 countries across the world, working with partners to transform millions of lives every year by improving access to clean water, toilets and hygiene.


‘St Andrews Quaich Society was founded originally by students and attached to the Students Association.  The Society quickly sought the support of Luvians, then only in Cupar, with which we have been affiliated since 1996.  The Society holds regular whisky tastings, hosted by leading Brand Ambassadors, that are open to all.  The Society also soon disaffiliated from the Union due to venue and alcohol policy problems, to truly become a Town and Gown Society – anyone may attend, become a member, or join the Committee at our annual elections – attendance is currently £7 for members and £12 for non-members, with tickets on the door.  Membership is only £15, which includes a free Glencairn glass and a 7.5% discount on whisky purchases at Luvians (St Andrews, Cupar, and soon online).  Membership can be bought at every event.  Through Luvians, we are also affiliated with the charity WaterAid, providing clean water and sanitation in areas without.

AA Paul John 2

I had been invited along by Aedan A. Burt, Quaich Soc. President, to see how they arrange the evenings, I knew it was Shilton and of course I said aye. I arrived late afternoon, parked up and dondered around St Andrews – as you do. Bumped into Jackie from Weymss/Kingsbarns and had a wee chat, she was taking a gin evening also in town. Had an early dinner in the Tailend, a monster fisg appeared on a plate hardly large enough for it, I did manage to make it disappear.  After some window shopping and whisky shop curiosities, I arrived early at the hotel, nice by the way. Sat in the bar, enjoyed two pots of tea and read a book (driving tonight). Whilst gazing about bored, I happened to spot some likely suspects arriving for the set up, I was correct, so went in and said hello, sat down and watched the chaos start. A few Uni guys were pouring 55 drams x 5 bottles out, lined up on a large table, not how we would have done it but ok. Shilton arrived, let him make contact with them before a quick wave hello. Smiling he came over, sat down and we chatted for some time about this, that, people we both knew, Charlie Mac especially and Michael, his boss.

Attendees piled in, paying on the door – it was mostly university people – and all found a seat. After more conversation with Shilton, I sat doon and took stock. Off he went into a great wee staory about himself, I didnee know he was named after goalie Peter Shilton!  Learn something new every day. He drifted into distillery talk, weather in Goa and all things Indian, by the way, Indian Angels get almost 12% share (Bangalore), on to the first dram; Brilliance @ 46%.  I won’t go into every dram but this one is 5 – 6 years old. The oldest cask they have is 8 year old, over two warehouse collections, one above ground and one below – unusual to say the least.

 PAUL 1 little and large ride again

More drams followed with great patter from Shilton – he was good. Drams included; Classic @ 55.2%, Edited @ 46%, Bold (peated) 46% and Peated @ 55.5%.. It was around a two hour tasting evening, with drams, chat, questions etc, aye he had also prepared a presentation which was excellent on screen. Paul John Distillery uses two kinds of peat, both Scottish exports, highlands and Islay – think of it as Scottish peat taking a 6 year holiday in Goa then coming back to their birthplace, that’s what was on offer this evening. One or two drams I was hoping for never arrived, sad face here. The Christmas Edition limited run and the fabulous Olorosso finish, och next time. It was really interesting listening about the distillery, how it started and some other drams on offer – ie; Original Choice, especially as we can buy it in Goa at 50p or £1 per carton!!! The evening drew to a close, I had my photos, my good memories of my chats with Shilton and drove to my hotel 6 miles away – I hadnee had an alcoholic drink all day!  But did take some samples away.

So, I said to Aedan, can anyone join your group?  Aye – St Andrews Whisky Society. Find them on facebook.

All told this was an enjoyable event, made better by the people there and the drams tabled. I do have to thank both Michael and Shilton (PJ) for the whisky they supplied for our upcoming tours, a bunch of whisky hungry Swedes for a week, and a whisky fest in Dornoch with Swiss and Indian guests. Shilton and myself agreed to meet up again as soon as we can both make diary space, we would love him to be this relaxed and good, presenting PJ drams to one (or more) of our groups in future. Saving that for another day – see what I did there? Saving, goalie!  Oh well.

Host; St Andrews Whisky Society. Presentation; Shilton Almenia check this. Watching brief and blogger; Paul McLean of

Just Whisky Auction Live – Ending Soon! – Auction Whisky News

AA JW Oct1

Just Whisky Auction Live – Ending Soon! 

Currently live with our 59th auction which is ending soon. Don’t miss out – Get Bidding!

The Auction ends Sunday 21th October from 8.00pm (BST)


The Distillery Reserve Collection 2018 (Caperdonich 21, Strathisla 26, Glenugie 37)

The Distillery Reserve Collection is a limited release of rare and exceptional whiskies from Chivas Brothers Single Malt Whisky Distilleries. Each release is bottled at cask Strength. Some of the latest releases are:

Caperdonich 21 Years Old, distilled 7th October 1996 and bottled 6th August 2018. Limited to only 324 bottles
Strathisla 26 Years Old, distilled 20th January 1992 and bottled 1st August 2018. Limited to only 708 bottles
Glenugie 37 Years Old, distilled 19th June 1981 and bottled 6th August 2018. Limited to only 300 bottles


Johnnie Walker White Walker – Game of Thrones

An Autumn 2018 Limited Edition release from Johnnie Walker. This expression was created by whisky specialist George Harper, alongside a small team of expert blenders at JW, this innovative whisky is best served directly from the freezer, echoing the chilling presence of the White Walkers. If you have been on a remote island for the last few years, Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series which was based on fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. The Series was released in The United States April 2011 and the World was hooked!


Glenrothes 13 Years Old 2004 – Halloween Edition 2018

A Limited Release of only 2202 bottles, Glenrothes Distillery have gone to the dark side! Distilled 2004 in 100% in first fill sherry seasoned casks for 13 years before being bottled October 2018 at cask strength. Glenrothes Distillery is located beside the town’s graveyard, day and night as life begins and ends the Glenrothes continues its daily routine of giving birth to newly made spirit.


Yamazaki 1999 – 2012 Tokyo International Bar Show

This single cask Yamazaki was distilled in 1999, matured in a Puncheon in the Ohmi Aging Cellar and then bottled in 2012 for the Tokyo 2012 Whisky Live Bar Show.


Ben Nevis 40 Years old 1963 – Old & Rare Platinum Selection

From Hunter Laing’s, and bottled for their Old & Rare Platinum Selection, from the Highland distillery Ben Nevis an incredibly well-aged 40-year-old Single malt which has spent a minimum of 6 months finishing in Sherry Wood. Distilled 1963 then bottled at natural cask strength in 2004. Traditionally un-chill filtered and one of only 339 bottles from a single cask.


Enough talk! Let’s view the auction!

International Beverage appoints Cara Chambers to Marketing Director Role – Scotch Whisky News

Inver House Distillers.

International Beverage appoints Cara Chambers to Marketing Director Role

Global drinks business International Beverage Holdings has today (Tuesday 9th October) announced the appointment of Cara Chambers to the post of Marketing Director.

Based at the company’s Scotch whisky subsidiary Inver House Distillers in Airdrie, Mrs Chambers is tasked with leading marketing and innovation for International Beverage’s award-winning spirits portfolio, which includes the Old Pulteney, anCnoc, Speyburn and Balblair single malt whisky brands, Hankey Bannister blended Scotch, as well as Scotland’s leading super premium gin Caorunn.

She brings 25 years’ experience working for some of the UK’s leading blue chip companies to the position, as well as a strong track record in implementing successful brand marketing strategies for global drinks companies, including Heineken and Whyte & Mackay.

Commenting on her appointment, Mrs Chambers said: ‘I have heard so many positive things about the International Beverage business, its people and its brilliant brands, and I am thrilled to have been appointed to the post. The opportunity to work closely with the team in Scotland, whilst also being part of the company’s international business framework, is a very appealing prospect. It’s a chance for me to learn within a dynamic global team, and to deliver plans to take these successful brands to the next level. I am really looking forward to the challenge.’

Inver House Distillers Managing Director Martin Leonard added: ‘We are entering a very exciting period for our business, with the channels in place to grow our brands in markets around the world. The position of Marketing Director is critical to delivering our ambitious plans, and Cara brings outstanding qualities, skills and experience to the task. She is a great fit for our business and a most welcome addition to our growing team.’

Mrs Chambers began her career in the drinks industry, starting at United Distillers (Diageo), Scottish Courage – where she became Marketing Manager for its cider portfolio – and Scottish & Newcastle / Heineken UK, where she rose to become Head of Innovation.

After a period working in consultancy, Mrs Chambers returned to the drinks industry as Marketing Director for Whyte & Mackay, before moving to Sainsbury’s Bank as Head of Customer and Brand Development, leading a brand, communications and innovation strategy at a pivotal point in the company’s development. Latterly, she was European Marketing Director of Baxters Food Group.

She is a qualified business coach and a fellow of the Marketing Society.

International Beverage Holdings Ltd

International Beverage Holdings Ltd is one of the drinks industry’s most dynamic global businesses.  Established in 2006 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thaibev, the company operates as its international business arm, specialising in the development of premium local spirits for the global market. Its success is built on a strong understanding of local cultures and markets within a worldwide business network. Based in Hong Kong with regional offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, the USA and UK, the company is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of a portfolio of premium brands in over 85 markets. These brands are built on character, craftsmanship and quality, led by a range of award-winning Scotch whiskies and an array of vibrant beers and spirits. These include:

  • Single malt Scotch whiskies Old Pulteney, Balblair, anCnoc and Speyburn
  • Blended Scotch Hankey Bannister
  • Caorunn, Scotland’s leading super premium gin
  • Mekhong, ‘The Spirit of Thailand’ since 1941
  • Chang Beer, Thailand’s iconic beer brand

Inver House Distillers is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Beverage Holdings Ltd, producing its  Scotch whiskies and gin at five distilleries around Scotland: Pulteney, Speyburn, Knockdhu, Balblair and Balmenach. Inver House is also highly active in the warehousing and blending of Scotch whisky, with warehousing for 500,000 barrels and state of the art blending and laboratory facilities at its headquarters in Airdrie. The business has won many prestigious accolades over the years, including the Icons of Whisky Distiller of the Year Award for Scotland (2017).

Focus brands

Old Pulteney, ‘The Maritime Malt’, is crafted in the windswept coastal town of Wick at Pulteney Distillery – established in 1826 and one of the most northerly on the Scottish mainland. ‘Pulteneytown’ once housed 7000 fishermen during Wick’s famous herring boom, and Old Pulteney is the embodiment of this place, its people and its remarkable history. Crafted using the most time-honoured techniques, Old Pulteney recently launched a new core range featuring flagship 12 Years Old, Huddart, 15 and 18 Years Old.

Speyburn Distillery was established in 1897 by John Hopkins at Rothes in the heart of Speyside. The beautiful natural environment of this location, combined with traditional methods of production and a quest for innovation, produce a whisky that symbolises all that is special about the great Speyside region. Speyburn currently has three core expressions – Bradan Orach, 10 and 15 Years Old.

Balblair Distillery is one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, built in 1790 and sitting on the original site to this day. Balblair whiskies are released as vintage expressions, only when they have reached their exact point of ‘optimum maturation’, the peak of perfection.

anCnoc is produced at Knockdhu Distillery, built in 1894 and one of the smallest and most enchanting in the Scottish Highlands. It is renowned by malt enthusiasts worldwide for bringing a contemporary twist to the traditions of fine malt whisky, producing a single malt that is accessible and versatile for all occasions.

Hankey Bannister is crafted from a blend of fine single malts from the five Inver House distilleries, producing a smooth and distinctive blend that is true to the original recipe of its historic founders – the flamboyant Mr Beaumont Hankey and his astute business partner, Mr Hugh Bannister. The whiskies of these eighteenth century pioneers were awarded royal warrants under King George V and Edward VII and were enjoyed by the likes of Winston Churchill and the Prince Regent William IV.




            FRANKFORT, Franklin County, Ky (October 11, 2018) – A bevy of spirits from Buffalo Trace Distillery won medals at the eighth annual New York World Wine & Spirits Competition (NYWSC), including Best Straight Bourbon and Double Gold Medal to W.L. Weller 12 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon.  Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon also received a Double Gold, along with winning Best Bourbon and Best Small Batch Bourbon.

The NYWSC, held in August, received more than 430 wines and 340 spirits to be judged at this year’s competition, breaking all records of previous years.

Spirits from Buffalo Trace Distillery which received Gold Medals:

  • Buffalo Trace Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Stagg Jr. Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Benchmark Old No. 8 Brand Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Silver Medals from Buffalo Trace Distillery produced spirits:

  • Eagle Rare Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Sazerac Straight Rye Whiskey
  • W.L. Weller Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • W.L. Weller Antique 107 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • Colonel E.H. Taylor, Jr. Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Distillery Bronze Medal Spirits Winners:

  • Wheatley Vodka
  • Buffalo Trace Distillery Bourbon Cream Liqueur

“We are honored to accept the awards at this year’s New York World Wine and Spirits Competition, says Harlen Wheatley, master distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery, “It was truly a team effort.”

Results from the 2018 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition can be found at

About Buffalo Trace Distillery

Buffalo Trace Distillery is an American family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The Distillery’s rich tradition dates back to 1773 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee.  Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational Distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is a National Historic Landmark as well as is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won 21 distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Whisky Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Its Col. E. H. Taylor, Jr. Four Grain Bourbon was named World Whiskey of the Year by “Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible 2018.”  Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 500 awards for its wide range of premium whiskies. To learn more about Buffalo Trace Distillery visit

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